ECONOMY

In Brief

Romania to receive 19 bln in EU development funds BUCHAREST (AP) – Romania will receive more than 19 billion euros in development funds from the European Union during 2007-2013, according to an agreement signed yesterday. The funds are part of the EU’s aid to member countries, and Romania became eligible after joining the EU in January. «This money will be used to reduce social and economic discrepancies between the regions of the country,» Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu said after a signing ceremony. «Now we must draft the projects to spend this money and to make sure these funds are spent efficiently and correctly.» EU Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hubner said the first funds would arrive within days, adding that the Commission would cooperate with the government to prevent irregularities in spending EU funds. Edison, Hellenic agree to set up power venture MILAN(Reuters) – Italy’s second-largest power producer Edison said late on Wednesday it had signed an agreement to set up a 50:50 joint venture in the power market with Greece’s Hellenic Petroleum. In a statement, Edison said the companies would confer a total of 1,400 megawatts of assets – existing and planned – to the joint venture. Edison said the companies aimed to make the venture the second-largest electric power operator in Greece with about 12 percent of the market. Croatia bans German bank Croatia’s Central Bank governor has refused to allow Germany’s Bayerische Landesbank to operate in Croatia again, saying its behavior in the near collapse of a Croatian bank was «far below professional levels.» The Munich-based BayernLB needed approval from the Croatian Central Bank to operate the Croatian-based branch of Austrian Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank, in which it acquired a majority stake in May. Governor Zeljko Rohatinski said in a statement yesterday that the «judgment of BLB’s previous management in Croatia» was crucial in denying the approval. (AP) Eldorado to shut mine Canada’s Eldorado Gold Corp said yesterday that it was ordered to shut its Kisladag gold mine in western Turkey in a court decision registered on Wednesday. The order will stand until the court rules on an appeal of a lower court decision, which confirmed the legality of Eldorado’s environmental impact assessment. Kisladag began commercial production in July, 2006 and produced 70,895 ounces of gold that year. Eldorado had previously forecast 2007 production between 190,000 ounces and 200,000 ounces of gold. (Reuters) Turk stocks surge Shares on Istanbul’s main stock index closed up 3.9 percent yesterday, driving the bourse to 52,005.8 points as the banking sector was buoyed by expectations of an interest rate cut. Continued expectations of political stability after polls on July 22 have also buttressed recent gains. (Reuters) Yapi Kredi sells realty Turkish lender Yapi Kredi has agreed to sell its real estate assets for 134 million euros as part of a wider plan to sell non-core assets, it said yesterday. The sale follows a decision from Turkish conglomerate Cukurova – which used to own Yapi Kredi – not to exercise an option to buy the assets, it said in a statement to the stock market. (Reuters)